Major South Korean health care company Boryung said Tuesday it signed a contract to establish a joint venture with US commercial space station developer Axiom Space, in a bid to ramp up its space business.
With the JV, which is scheduled to be established by May, Boryung said it will actively search for a slew of business opportunities in space, while utilizing Axiom Space's space-related infrastructure and space development technologies.
According to Boryung, the JV will mainly focus on conducting business in the low earth orbit region, which refers to area in Earth's orbit with an altitude of 2,000 kilometers or less.
In addition, the JV will be responsible for all of Axiom Space's business with South Korean companies and the government.
The JV comes as Boryung attempts to expand its business portfolio to include space-related projects, as Jay Kim, the grandson of Boryung founder Kim Seung-ho, had been keen on aggressively foraying into space-related field, since being designated as the new head of Boryung last year.
This JV follows Kim's series of cooperation with Axiom Space, as in April, Boryung decided to invest $50 million in Axiom Space -- which accounted for 13.7 percent of the company's total equity and 7.8 percent of its total assets.
The two companies also co-hosted the CIS Challenge last year, a global competition event established to accelerate the development of new health care-related products for use in space.
"Axiom Space will continue to carry out various space development and manned astronaut projects with Axiom Station, and will continue to carry out extensive research and experiments ranging from medicine to health care," said Michael Suffredini, the CEO of Axiom Space.
"Boryung, as one of our key partners, is leading the (space health care) field by presenting various ways for humans to perform long-term missions in space with its CIS program, and, as such, we are very happy with this opportunity to create the future of space with Boryung," he added.